News, Views, Rants and Raves About Technology and More

RSS vs Atom Revisited

with 3 comments

Atom is technically superior, more comprehensive and has more possibilities. From an engineer’s (and a purist’s) point of view – agreed. But RSS

  • has been widely adopted already,
  • has become synonymous to content syndication, and
  • is more evolutionary than anything else out there.

I’m too naive to take a stand, but RSS just works.

Written by Brajesh

July 5, 2006 at 12:46 pm

Posted in Content, Rant, RSS

3 Responses

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  1. I have to disagree. I think that the term RSS is widely adopted, but as a format, I’d say it’s a 60/40 split and Atom is gaining ground fast. Should we stop using something that is clearly better and would be more to our advantage to use just because my grandma now knows what RSS is? Truth of the matter is that a lot of people know what RSS is, but they don’t know what RSS is. They associate RSS with a service. We are speaking of it in terms of a format. I think that a lot of developers are scared to make the jump to Atom because they think they’ll start having to refer to syndication as Atom thus having to re-educate a whole lot of people. What needs to happen so that people can gain the courage to do what clearly needs to be done is seperate the service from the format. Keep the RSS name and just format the feeds in Atom. Or give it a new name entirely. Who knows. But if something isn’t done soon, there’ll be a whole lot of developers self-destructing.


    July 5, 2006 at 1:32 pm

  2. Keep the following in perspective. Once Microsoft is done with integrating RSS(the format) across its product line including sharepoint, 60/40 is going to skew even more in favour of RSS. IE7 parses Atom alright, but all MS products will be generating RSS and not Atom. I’m not sure how that will influence overall scenario, but that would make any switch even more difficult. It’s all too fuzzy.


    July 5, 2006 at 3:00 pm

  3. Why does what Microsoft chooses affect what everyone else should choose? As long as all consuming applications in use support both Atom and RSS, is there a reason not to choose Atom?

    If Microsoft wants to produce RSS and by that extend it in all possible directions to make it support what they just could have used Atom for, that’s fine. As long as feed readers and other newsfeed consuming toolkits support that and supports Atom at the same time, it really doesn’t matter.

    But for developers who don’t want to invent the wheel as a square and then adjust it as good as they can to look like a circle each and every time they want to add a new feature to their RSS feeds, Atom is the best choice. What Microsoft does has absolutely zero impact on this choice.

    Asbjørn Ulsberg

    July 14, 2006 at 11:49 am

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